Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/1999/03/22/micromuse_founder_killed_in_f1/

Micromuse founder killed in F1 smash

Drugs bust millionaire and two others die in tragic accident

By Linda Harrison

Posted in Business, 22nd March 1999 13:25 GMT

Computer multi-millionaire Chris Dawes was killed instantly yesterday when his McLaren F1 crashed into a tree in Essex. Dawes, founder of software company Micromuse, died when his £640,000 limited edition sports car hit a tree and burst into flames. Three bodies were found in the car on the A120 near Great Dunmow. According to Essex police, all died at the scene. Australian-born Dawes had been facing trial in Guernsey for cocaine possession with intent to supply. Essex police said they were alerted by calls from the public after the crash at 1.35pm yesterday. A police representative added: "The bodies have not yet been formerly identified. We will have to do tests on dental records and other forms of forensic identification which could take up to a week." According to reports in today’s Times newspaper, the other people in the car were Fiona Newman, 35, and Michael Lamb, 37. A witness at the scene told The Daily Telegraph: "It was fortunate that no other cars were following. No one could get anywhere near it; it was just smoke and flames. Then there were two or three explosions as if the petrol tank went up." The burgundy sports car was one of only 72 road McLaren F1’s made, according to McLaren. The company was unable to disclose the car owner’s name, but a representative told The Register: "This vehicle was purchased four weeks ago. The £634,000 was paid in full." Dawes was arrested on Alderney, in the Channel Islands, in a Boxing Day police drugs swoop. His £3 million helicopter and £3 million private jet were impounded and stripped by Customs. Two packages were found during the raids and were being analysed. At the time of the fatal crash, Dawes was awaiting a trial date following the drugs bust. He launched Micromuse in 1989, two years after he arrived in London. The company was believed to have netted him £24 million. ®